Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
This is a great article that makes some great points. The thread that opens up underneath it, started out laughably foolish, but afterward rose to the occasion and some great points were made there as well.
The article itself is a response to an indictment that appeared last month. And the response is just a bunch of bullets — why IT, in general, is dissolving into a puddle of bureaucratic goo when the challenges it is built to confront, demand anything but a bureaucracy. Interestingly, it has no preamble; just a two-liner from the editor and then launches right in.
Six is my fave, and when I look back on my career I see I’ve been guilty of this:
IT doesn’t ask why. They respond to the same problems over and over without implementing permanent fixes. They operate and support redundant applications even though no one uses them. They do not question business priorities and complain when all requests are listed as high priority by the business.
The last of the eight bullets is denial. IT doesn’t want to admit it’s becoming a bureaucracy, when it’s in the stages of becoming one. And then the first dozen or so comments in the thread pop in and essentially prove it.
I will need to allocate some time to sit down with this and figure out who’s pointing out more substantial stuff…the author of the article, or some of the commenters who came in later and have contributed some items I wouldn’t want to miss. Looks like a close call. But in my own twenty years, I have noticed that if there is one big problem that acts as a stumbling block against the endeavors of IT sub-organizations everywhere, it is human nature. I have yet to see an IT executive confront it directly.
The mission of Information Technology is to do more with less, and to deliver it as close to Right Now as possible, without disrupting production. Keep it working, and in the meantime go look for a cheaper way to do more quicker. This demands an awkward juxtaposition of creative-individualist and harmonious-collectivist thinking. This means the best and brightest should be promoted into positions where they can find out exactly what has to be done, and go shopping for ways to accomplish it, with all the less-creative folks standing behind them and lending support. Once the product is installed, information needs to be shared down to a substantially technical level, so that if there is a disruption in service someone will be around to make sure business is resumed as seamlessly as possible.
I have not yet seen this happen in my career. Anywhere. I don’t think I’ll see it.
Self-interest always gets in the way. Once you’re the “(blank)” guy, and you replace “(blank)” with whatever it is the company needs that is your specialty, you want to hoard the information. And why shouldn’t you? If you train someone else how to do the same thing, they’re probably going to start brown-nosing the boss, pretending that they’re the ones who got trained first and you’re the Johnny-come-lately…and if your boss is a dimwit, he might believe them and they’ll get all your plumb assignments. The boss, meanwhile, will pick out the guy who does things in a manner that most closely resembles the way he’d do things if he were they. And that guy will get all the “yummy” training…the expensive training…the training on all the yummy new products that are going to be in demand next year, or the year after. And so all the hoarding of information will be for nothing. But year after year people will continue to do it anyway.
It’s gotta be that way, if there are layers of management looking at IT trying to find ways to pare it down. And that ingredient will never be missing, of course. IT is in the business of delivering, among other things, economy.
So jealousy will have something to do with what motivates IT; therefore, elitism will drift in, sooner or later. I have yet to see any exceptions to it. An IT department staffed with, say for example, fifty highly energetic, skilled, experienced and resourceful engineers, will draw on the creative juices of………..four or five of those. At the most. The other ninety percent will be called upon to support that “Big Five.” …or not. Will that Big Five come up with the creative, resourceful, Indiana Jones “out of the box” types of solutions that will keep the department from drifting into a bureaucracy? Perhaps. Maybe. Probably not…the highest part of any mountain is it’s center.
Are all IT organizations neck deep in this problem? I would have to say no, since they’re disconnected entities functioning within private enterprises, with good specimens as well as bad ones. But I think it’s safe to say all the IT organizations that aren’t yet bureaucracies, are in danger of becoming those, since they’re staffed by ordinary people.
Ordinary people don’t really work that well together. Not once the advancement of one man’s career, is seen as a detriment to the career of his colleague.
And so I would reserve my most scathing criticism for the folks who skim over the Spanos article, and snear something to the effect of “not in my citadel.” Those may be bright people, but they’re engaged in a somewhat foolish thing.
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